Among the biggest winners of the 2012 stock market was Home Depot – up just a tad over 47%. This reflects renewed confidence in the housing recovery and the willingness of home owners to once again sink some money back into their properties in the form of home improvements.
Many of these projects are of the DIY variety such as decks, patios, or bath and kitchen upgrades.
Although most of these do it yourself projects have happy endings, many languish in a half finished state for months or are never completed. Worse yet, some end up looking like, well, I don’t want to be unkind, but we’ve all seen examples of what I’m referring to.
But who can blame a guy or gal for trying? If these do it yourself projects were so easy there wouldn’t be a need for trade schools or apprenticeships.
There is, however, one DIY home improvement that guarantees a 100% success rate no matter how skillful you are (or not) as a home handyman/woman. The foolproof home improvement I’m alluding to here is the electric fireplace.
Now I know some of you reading this probably wouldn’t put an electric fireplace in the same category of home improvement as a bathroom vanity or kitchen cabinets, but before you pass judgement, consider these criteria for what qualifies as a home improvement.
A home improvement should:
1. Provide a tangible benefit: An electric fireplace provides supplemental zone heating to any room in your house for as little as 15¢ an hour. Many models are also capable of operating with the fan only for year round use and include a washable air filter.
2. Beautify your home: An electric fireplace is sure to become the focal point of any room where it is installed.
3. Retain as much value as possible: According to a recent article in Bloomberg.com titled “The Real cost of Home Improvement” the most popular upgrades recoup between 51% and 72% of their cost when the house is subsequently resold.
Since an electric fireplace is not a permanent fixture, it can be moved from home to home without incurring any additional costs and loses not of its value.
Now for the “Foolproof DIY Home Improvement” claim. Electric fireplaces do require assembly which is the DIY part. But if you can follow simple directions, and have mastered the art of the screwdriver, you’ll not only do it right the first time, your finished mantlepiece will look like you spent years studying the fine art of cabinet making.